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Shippers and forwarders are set to benefit from the digitisation that is creeping into the air freight industry. The latest move comes from AirBridgeCargo (ABC), which has said it is set to use Unilode’s Internet of Things-connected ULDs.
The carrier has extended its partnership with Unilode to include usage of Transmitting Portable Electronic Devices (TPEDs) within the ULDs, which track and sense via Bluetooth.
The devices are mounted into the ULDs, and enable the carrier to track the ULDs, and measure the environmental parameters. They can register temperature, humidity, light and shock. It also gives the carrier accurate information about the cargo’s status and location, on the ground or in the air.
The companies are working on rolling this out, with Bluetooth readers to be installed at warehouses and ground handling facilities.
Cathay Pacific trialled the devices earlier this year, and is also undergoing a roll out of the devices. Cargolux and Air Canada are also taking part. Unilode has partnered with On Asset Intelligence to provide technological support.
“We are delighted to see our partnership with Unilode progressing and embracing new areas, such as IoT, which will not only facilitate data accuracy but also enhance digital customer experience with the provision of detailed information for each and every shipment,” said Sergey Lazarev, general director, ABC.
“This is especially important for special cargo – pharmaceutical products, oversize and heavy goods, live animals, etc. With the penetration of digitalization taking place in the air cargo sector, we want to make sure that our customers get the full benefit of it, be it general cargo, abc pharma, abc XL or other specialist dedicated services.”
In preparation, ABC has upgraded its online track and trace tool, introduced 24/7 Control Tower to monitor status of special cargo shipments, and reinforced its team.
Benoît Dumont, Unilode CEO, added: “The BLE v.5.0 device is the most cost-effective solution for the transmission of shipment parameters with its primary benefits being improved speed and greater range.”
ABC is not the only airline breaking ground this week. Lufthansa Cargo has developed an online application for dangerous goods declarations (DGD).
It can be used for air, road or sea, and Lufthansa claims to be the first airline to develop it. Siemens Healthcare has been one of the first adopters, and said that the application “fits seamlessly” into its digitisation strategy.
Lufthansa said that DGD.online can be used to generate electronically signed dangerous goods declarations and send them automatically, complete with attachments such as safety data sheets.
“Forwarders and other logistics providers can also be digitally integrated into the handling process, facilitating paperless cooperation. DGD.online is equipped for future use of eDGD. The integrated validation and convenience features can help accelerate processes and prevent costly errors,” the carrier said in a statement.